Impressions of the 2017 Gabr Fellows

Impressions of the 2017 Gabr Fellows


“The program, in general, was very rich in terms of content in most of the sessions we attended. In addition to this, having the experience to live with American Fellows was more than eye-opening as it provided me with a fresh perspective regarding America’s history, culture, public opinions and politics through exploring di erent views coming from the opinions of the Fellows.”
Abdelrahman Amr

“The Gabr Fellowship was the best and most enlightening experience in my life. I knew from the impressions of the previous Fellows that it would be an interesting experience, yet I didn’t imagine the great e ect it will have on me in such short time. I enjoyed and bene ted from each and every moment of the programme starting by the interesting topics, high pro le visits and speakers, the interaction and the fast developing relations with the great and brilliant Fellows and through getting to know such an impressive and extraordinary man like Mr. Gabr, whom I will always be grateful to. I will take what I learned in this Fellowship with me and strive to make a true and sustained impact.”
Aly Salem

“The Gabr Fellowship was a life-changing, inspirational experience. As a journalist, it was very bene cial for me as it got me in contact with top o cials, policy- makers, politicians, intellectuals and economists from both Egypt and the U.S. The Fellowship also helped me get acquainted with the U.S. culture, traditions and the American people. Most importantly, I have made some great, lifetime friends from both countries who made me feel grateful for joining such a Fellowship.”
Menna Aly Farouk

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. For me, during the program, I have read many pages and saw the world from di erent angles. Most of the time, I work with people from western cultures, however, when I witnessed how Egypt is appreciated when newcomers learn about it, and experience it changed my perspective signi cantly. This happened because I was given the opportunity to ask and discuss whatever I thought of with the most senior of leaders in both countries. When I started to read the other page of the world in the United States, which was a real dream and burning curiosity, I changed even more than before. The e ect made the horizon of my views far and wide, as Douglas Reed described America. I believe that the whole world needs more of these programs that are a main pillar of world peace, and a remarkable positive change for youth.”
Ibrahim Hammouda

“Eye-opening, inspiring and life-changing, that is how I describe my experience with the Gabr Fellowship. After spending 18 days in Egypt and the USA and meeting with decision makers of both countries, I learnt a lot about the decision-making process complexities and their underlying perspectives, I also realized the cultural di erences and the numerous similarities. Going to cultural tours in both countries made me realize that both countries have such inspiring histories and share many values. I thought I knew a lot about American culture, but my interactions with my friends proved that there are many cultural aspects that are hard to capture in a movie or read about in a book. Though some daily habits and routines might di er, we share so much more! The Gabr Fellowship, most importantly, helped me create priceless and lifetime friendships with some of the brightest American and Egyptian young leaders that I will cherish forever! 2017 Gabr Fellows I LOVE YOU!”
Neveen Mohamed

“The Gabr Fellowship is a lifetime experience that greatly added to my knowledge and life experience. This initiative gave me the opportunity to meet with experts, intellectuals, and remarkable future leaders from Egypt and U.S. Such exposure boosted my understanding of the challenges as well as opportunities that face U.S.-Egyptian relations. Moreover, it enriched my communication skills through friendships with both the American and Egyptian Fellows.’ instead of ‘through making friends from both the American and Egyptian side. I am very grateful for being part of this amazing Fellowship which changed the way I see things.”
Reham Salem Gamal

“This is the kind of Fellowship that stretches your potential as a person to limits you never thought possible. No matter what you’re currently doing with your life, you will nish this Fellowship feeling motivated to do 10 times what you were doing before. It will change your perception about what success is, and you will have no option but to know more, do more, and become more. I came out of this Fellowship with inspiration, motivation, knowledge, lifetime memories, and most notably, lifetime friendships. This is a Fellowship that I plan to remain actively involved with for the rest of my life.”
Amr Seda

“The Gabr Foundation is an excellent tool for understanding the world around you. Through dialogue and open direct communication, I learnt to see things from a di erent perspective. The Fellowship simulates a crash course on global politics and world culture. Brilliant Fellows from the West and brilliant Fellows from the East of di erent backgrounds and di erent cultures creating a blend of ideas and thoughts for integration. I sincerely encourage anyone to join the Gabr Fellowship family, it is an unforgettable eye-opening experience. As my journey continues, I aspire to further strengthen the U.S.-Egypt relationship thanks to the catalyst that is the Gabr Foundation. The intellectual connection with the new friends that I made is going to form a lifelong bond.”
Sarah Hesham Badr

“I will always remember the year 2017 because it was the year I was lucky to experience being a Gabr Fellow and to be a part of a wonderful family established by the great Mohamed Sha k Gabr. Those days spent in Egypt and the USA with the American and Egyptian Fellows were an eye opener that together we can work to bridge any gaps between the two countries. I am thankful that this experience has pushed me past my limits and boundaries; it has helped me to establish new ones, and for that, I am forever grateful. I am thankful for each and every person I met during those 2 weeks, those people who I love the most and who gave me the chance to laugh with, smile with, and share ideas with.”
Sherif Fathy Soliman

“This program has been a life-changing event for me. I met with people and visited places that I would have never had access to if it wasn’t for being a Gabr Fellow. The most rewarding aspect was the fact that we got the chance to live 2 weeks with our American counterparts and experience life together as Fellows and friends both in their country and ours; the experience opened my eyes to the many similarities between us. I do wish that many in uential people like Mr. Gabr would have the same vision of helping the next generation grow their network, explore new horizons and take their dreams a further step forward. To give back to this great opportunity, I consider it as a personal commitment to take my project seriously and always give credit to the Fellowship as the kick-starter for FUSIC.”
Dalia Ihab Younis

“The Gabr fellowship was an incredible opportunity to challenge the worldviews I hold, and to immerse myself in Middle Eastern--specifically Egyptian--culture and politics. The speakers were of the highest caliber and represented the top tier of political, cultural, and religious aspects of both Egyptian and American society. I gained an immeasurable amount of wisdom from my experience. However, the most significant takeaways from the experience were the relationships I formed with the Egyptian fellows and my American counterparts. I consider each and every 2017 participant a close friend and an admirable peer. The quality of the fellows that I shared this experience with speaks the most praise to the experience and value of the program.”

Bryan Griffin

“The Gabr Fellowship was a transformative and life-changing experience that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. It is a testament to the enduring power of people-to-people exchanges and reinforces the idea that by building connections with people on the other side of the globe, we can make the world a more peaceful and inclusive place. The world is more interconnected than ever before and it is imperative that we work together to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of today. I am confident that we will carry the lessons and values gained through the Fellowship and build a better and brighter future for us all. I cannot wait to see where the future takes us!”
Courtney Joline

“26 months ago, as a 22yr old kid trying to make it in professional baseball, never did I imagine that one day I would be flying to the Middle East in order to better understand the dynamics of one of the most important relationships in the world. Fast forward two years, and that is exactly what the Gabr fellowship has given me. The opportunity to travel to the Middle East and regions of the United States, with 18 other unbelievably intelligent and talented young, emerging leaders, is an opportunity only this fellowship could’ve given me, only Mr. Gabr could’ve given me. It was the most humbling and eye-opening experience I’ve had in my short life. The ideas, concepts, cultures, and human beings we had the opportunity of being exposed to will stay with us forever. I am a firm believer in what Mr. Gabr is trying to accomplish, and look forward to being a contributing factor to the initiative for years to come.”
Hunter King

“This unique opportunity tossed us - without hesitation - into the deep end of the swimming pool. And I can honestly say that the experience taught me a great deal not only about the politics and culture of Egypt, but my own country as well. I’m grateful to have learned from and to be connected with so many terrific people through the Gabr Fellowship.”
Jack Gordon

“When I completed the fellowship, I felt an overwhelming sense of inspiration and empowerment. Between our speaker discussions and the brief moments chatting on the bus between meetings, I was deeply moved by the Fellows and our honest, open conversations. Despite our differences, we all listened; we all learned; we all grew. And after our “bootcamp” of a fellowship, we all know that much can be accomplished even on only four hours of sleep.”
Jean Kwon

“This fellowship transformed my personal and professional development. The program is designed to encourage a free exchange of perspectives, which cultivated an atmosphere of openness between all of the fellows. As a result, we got to know each other in a deeper way than one might expect, building lifelong friendships, and we all were forced to think critically about our preconceptions about each other's cultures. The Gabr Fellowship is a model for cultural exchange programs, and I believe each and every alumnus will leverage their experience to forge a better, safer, and more cohesive world.”
Jessica Mulligan
Government Relations Manager at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

“The Gabr Fellowship was truly a once in a lifetime experience that fundamentally changed how I view the world, and confirmed that open dialogue and communication are how you solve global problems. Egypt’s history has always fascinated me and for years I have dreamed of visiting the pyramids. Through this fellowship I now view Egypt as much more than just a country with a unique history. Egypt is a country with rich cultural traditions, and a country with amazing people who are not so different from myself. In addition, this fellowship helped to further confirm my personal commitment and desire to break down walls and build bridges between different cultures.”
Kristina Ryan
Program Officer, Global Engagement Center, U.S. Department of State

“The fellowship in a short, accelerated, and boot camp-esque time frame compresses a very memorable experience into 20 days. Never in my life did I think I would see the Pyramids, Sphinx, Grand Imam, Koptic Pope, US Ambassador to Egypt, 20+ members of Congress, the Pentagon, State Department, or even step on the Senate and House Chamber Floors. These are experiences I will keep with me the rest of my life. However, the MOST impactful portion of this fellowship wasn't the speakers, but the other fellows. The personal connections we developed are something I will keep with me years from now, and because of these fellows I personally feel a stake in the success or failures of Egypt.”
Michael Matthiesen

“The price of modern civilization has been a loss of humanity, nowhere has this been more evident than in the world of international relations. We too often see an issue half way around the world and then prescribe and deliver a solution that we see as correct. This has led to an environment that necessitates the view that all exchange is transactional. Nothing is further from the truth or more dangerous to our future. The Gabr fellowship counters that position by humanizing foreign views and peoples. It is my sincere belief that we have succeeded in the exchange between our two groups during our time together. Now it is upon the Mr. Gabr's Fellows to carry this mutual trust and open communication to our own fields. We must work to humanize our friends on the other side of the Atlantic. This is a worthy goal as the price of failure is the perpetuation of conflict, while the boon of success is much more noble, a world that is better for us having been here.”
Thomas Stein